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Background information about
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Some additional quotations -- more controversial this time:

  • "Christianity is the only true religion. ... Jesus said that He was the only way. Jesus is unique. He was either telling the truth, [or] He was crazy, or He was a liar. But since everyone agrees that Jesus was a good man, how then could He be both good and crazy, or good and a liar? He had to be telling the truth. He is the only way." Matthew J. Slick, President of CARM.
  • "... there are other possibilities ... perhaps Jesus was simply mistaken or that we don’t have an accurate record of what he truly said — if, indeed, he even existed."Austin Cline  1
  • "The world is equally shocked at hearing Christianity criticized and seeing it practiced." Elton Trueblood, (1900 - 1994), American author and theologian.
  • "Many people think that the Bible is the authentic word of God and they worship the Bible, making it an idol..." Alan Watts, from "The Essence of Alan Watts series - GOD.

About this site's approach:

Our policies: This section on Christianity is quite large. Its contents might not be what you expect.

There are millions of religious web sites on the Internet. A Google search for "God" found about 541 million hits; "Jesus" returned 212 million; "Christ" found 114 million. Almost all of these sites promote a single viewpoint -- that of the webmaster or of the sponsoring denomination. This web site is different. We are a multi-faith group. Our goal is to help religious people understand the full diversity of beliefs and practices within Christianity today, and down through history.

This web site has a lot more material about Christianity than on any other religion. That is because of the importance of Christianity and the political power of organized para-church groups, particularly in the U.S. Almost 75% of American adults identify themselves as Christian. In comparison, the next largest religions are Islam and Judaism, whose memberships total only one or two percent of the adult U.S. population.

Our definition of "Christian:" There are probably thousands of different definitions of the word "Christian." We have chosen the same definition as is used by public opinion pollsters and government census offices:

"A 'Christian'  includes any group or individual who seriously, sincerely, devoutly, prayerfully describes themselves as Christian."
Under this definition, Christianity includes: Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists, Gnostic Christians, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, United Church members, progressive Christians, even a small minority of Unitarian Universalists, etc.

We recognize that this is a very inclusive definition. We are reminded of this on a daily basis by irate Christians who strongly feel that only a small percentage of people who regard themselves to be Christians are actually "true" Christians, according to the definition that the Emailer uses.

Coverage of Christian history: We try to explain the full diversity of Christian beliefs: from those held by very conservative to very liberal believers. Sometimes we also include the diversity of beliefs of the very early Christian movement from the 1st and 2nd century CE. 2

  • Some Christians believe that the beliefs of the earliest primitive Christian movement are closest to Jesus' actual teaching. This group, the Jewish Christians, was centered in Jerusalem under the leadership of James -- the brother/step brother/cousin/ friend -- of Jesus. This group was apparently founded by Jesus' followers at about the time of his execution, circa 30 CE. Before the return of Paul to Judea circa 38 CE, it was the only Christian movement in the world. The group was led by individuals who had followed Jesus; his teachings would have been fresh in their mind.
  • Other Christians believe that the beliefs of their present-day faith group are closest to Jesus' actual teaching even though it reflects the evolving tradition of their denomination and the many changes made since the first century CE.

Upset at our site content? Many of our visitors are distressed because they find material on our site which describes beliefs by Christians from denominations other than their own. They regard these beliefs to be in gross error, unacceptable, perhaps blasphemous and either un-Christian or anti-Christian. If you are distressed by the content, please do not write us angry Emails.  Please take up your complaints with the people who hold those beliefs. We are a group of religious reporters, not theologians. However, if you find that we have incorrectly explained the beliefs of a Christian group, please do inform us.

Points of concern:

It is our policy to compare and contrast the beliefs and practices of very conservative with very liberal/progressive Christians. Most North American Christians belong to either a mainline denomination or the Roman Catholic Church. Your faith group may teach some beliefs similar to the conservative wing of Christianity and others similar to that of the liberal wing, and still others that are unique to your denomination.

We feel that it is important for persons of all faith groups (Christian and non-Christian) to understand the great diversity of Christian beliefs -- both among denominations today and throughout history. Many Christians are aware of their own denomination's current beliefs. However, they may be unfamiliar with how beliefs have changed through the 19 centuries of Christian history and how they differ from other Christian faith groups.

We hope that the contents of this section will be of interest, whether you want to:

  • Carry out the Great Commission by evangelizing others, or
  • Debate with them, or
  • Dialogue with them, or
  • Work with them, in spite of theological difference, to jointly tackle social problems, or
  • Merely understand them.

The importance of religious tolerance:

The U.S. and Canada  are the most religiously diverse countries in the world. Both are becoming increasingly diverse.

If current trends reported by the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) continue:

  • The percentage of adults in both countries who identify themselves as Christian is now in the low 70s and will continue to drop by about 0.8 percentage points per year.
  • Protestant Christians will shortly become a minority in the U.S. Some commentators believe that this has already happened -- perhaps during 2006.
  • Christians will become a minority in in Canada about 2023 and in the U.S. about the year 2042.

With such trends likely, Americans and Canadians are going to need religious understanding and tolerance towards each other's faiths in the future. As we state on our home page, the term "religious tolerance" on this website means to extend religious freedom to people of all religious traditions, even though you may well disagree with their beliefs and/or practices.

Having tolerance toward another religion does not require you to endorse that faith group's beliefs; it simply indicates your respect for its right to exist and for its member to hold different beliefs without being oppressed.

Religious tolerance does require you to be civil towards others, but does not require you:

  • To accept all religions as equally true.
  • To avoid criticizing actions motivated by religion that harm others.
  • To avoid comparing beliefs of different religions with each other.
  • To avoid comparing religious beliefs with with scientific findings where they overlap.

Some books on Christianity that you can safely order from:

Sponsored links:


  1. Austin Cline, "Lord, Liar, or Lunatic: C.S. Lewis and the Jesus Trilemma," About.com, at: http://atheism.about.com/

  2. David Barrett et al, "World Christian Encyclopedia: A comparative survey of churches and religions - AD 30 to 2200," Oxford University Press, (2001). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store

  3. JCSM's Top 1000 Christian Sites - Free Traffic Sharing Service! We have been invited to exchange links with Jesus Christ Saves Ministries (JCSM).

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Copyright © 1998 to 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Last updated and reviewed: 2008-NOV-08
Author: Bruce A Robinson

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